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Citizens Asked to Sign Globama Petition to End 30-Year Solar Hiatus, Cut White House Energy Costs
and ‘Be Solar Inspired’ Via National Solar Tour


(Boulder, CO – July 1, 2010)
– The American Solar Energy Society is lending its support to a powerful public-private partnership to demonstrate the technological advances that can bring clean, job-creating, domestically-produced solar energy back to the White House.  The Globama Initiative is encouraging citizens of all political persuasions to confirm their support of this taxpayer-friendly project by signing an electronic petition that can be found at www.solaronthewhitehouse.com

In addition to the American Solar Energy Society, the campaign partnership is fueled by the Solar Energy Industries Association, the Post Carbon Institute, Solar Nation, CleanTechies, private sector solar companies and U.S. citizens.

“The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is the largest man-made environmental disaster this country has seen. Its devastation rivals that of the Exxon Valdez every four days. In its wake, Americans are again searching for clean energy alternatives,” said American Solar Energy Society Executive Director Brad Collins.  “Outfitting the ‘people’s house’ with a leading-edge solar energy solution serves as a beacon to the world that clean energy is a priority to President Obama, his administration and the people he serves,” he added.

California-based Sungevity is looking to donate a 102-panel, 17.85 kW solar PV solution that will offset 81% of the White House’s monthly electricity bill.  A San Jose-based company called Free Hot Water has agreed to donate the solar thermal systems and KACO New Energy has offered to donate the inverters that convert the collected sunlight to the common AC for the White House solar system.

“We are thrilled to have the grassroots support of these reputable organizations to help spread awareness around the clean power of the sun – and to make people aware of the tax credits, cash grants, accelerated depreciation and related economic benefits for American homes and businesses interested in going solar,” said Sungevity Founder Danny Kennedy.

“As the U.S. Senate takes up debate of the President’s clean energy legislation (the American Clean Energy and Security Act), we can’t think of a better time to remind Americans of the legacy of solar energy at the White House, and encourage more people to sign the petition and look at the economic and environmental benefits solar offers,” added Kennedy.

Solar energy has a history of serving Presidents on both sides of the political aisle.  Over 30 years ago, Americans were outraged at being held hostage to the interests of the foreign, oil-rich members of OPEC.  In response, then-President Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the White House.  His aim was to inspire Americans to educate themselves about the clean, domestic energy alternatives inherent in solar technology.

“A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of the road not taken, or it can be a small part of one of the greatest adventures ever undertaken by the American people,” the President predicted. In the mid 1980s, the panels were dismantled for ‘cleaning’ and never re-installed.

In 2002, President George W. Bush accepted a National Parks Service proposal to reinstate solar on the White House grounds. The proposal allowed for a 9 kW solar PV system on a maintenance shed and two solar thermal systems to heat the White House swimming pool and hot tub.  But with few incentives to guarantee market stability for solar businesses or consumers, little attention was paid to the gesture and solar remained out of reach to most Americans.

“The difference today from 30 years ago is that solar technology has exponentially improved to offer Americans a broad spectrum of efficient, clean energy alternatives,” added Collins.  “And with concentrated solar power plants with storage capacity coming online in the Southwest, solar energy can provide electricity to our U.S. electrical grid 24 hours a day.”

To help businesses and consumers learn about the clean, job-creating solar energy options and the tax incentives that make solar solutions more affordable than ever, the American Solar Energy Society hosts the National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event.  Last year, 150,000 people across 49 states and Puerto Rico participated.

Now in its 15th year, the Tour features open house tours of thousands of solar-powered homes, businesses, and public agencies to introduce the solar technologies U.S. citizens are using to 1) slash monthly energy bills, 2) reduce environmentally harmful carbon emissions, 3) assert their energy independence and 4) enjoy rich tax credits and cash incentives as they improve their property values.  The bulk of the tours take place on or about October 2, 2010.

“Technologies have improved, solar module prices have dropped and credit markets have loosened to the point where folks can have confidence in their solar energy options,” said four year National Solar Tour sponsor Jyl Safier, Marketing Director for the global solar energy experts at Conergy.

Collins agrees. “We encourage citizens across the U.S. to sign the Globama petition.  And we invite people to join the National Solar Tour by showcasing their solar-powered homes and businesses on this year’s tour – or by taking the tour to learn how they, too, can harness the power of the sun to cut energy costs and create cleaner communities. “As this year’s National Solar Tour theme suggests, there’s never been a better time to ‘Be solar inspired!'”

ABOUT THE AMERICAN SOLAR ENERGY SOCIETY: Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is the nation’s leading association of solar professionals and grassroots advocates. Supported by more than 12,000 members, ASES advances research, education, and policy. ASES publishes the award-winning SOLAR TODAY magazine, presents the National Solar Conference, rallies citizens to build a Solar Nation, and leads the National Solar Tour – the world’s largest grassroots solar event.  www.ases.org.

Image Captions:

The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is fueling an initiative to return solar panels to the White House while providing Americans with opportunities to tour solar-powered homes and businesses in their communities during its 15th National Solar Tour.

Americans wishing to sign a petition supporting a solar-powered White House should visit www.solaronthewhitehouse.com.

President Obama’s Recovery Act offers rich tax credits, cash grants and other incentives for businesses and homeowners interested in going solar.

Sungevity wants to donate a 102-panel, 17.85 kW solar PV system to the White House to demonstrate the powerful viability of today’s solar technology.

President Carter first introduced solar energy innovations to the White House in 1979 to assert U.S. energy independence following the OPEC Oil Embargo — and to inspire Americans about the benefits of clean domestic energy alternatives.

Posted by Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy co-founded Sungevity and now serves as strategic advisor. He is an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues. He is the author of Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy - and Planet - from Dirty Energy (2012), a book that has been described as the clean energy manifesto for the next greatest generation.